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Last Movie You Watched 
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Romero's Dawn of the Dead is a marvelous movie and a textbook on how to do horror as allegory. I think his later work got a little too heavy-handed with it, but he found the right balance with Dawn.

Snyder's Dawn is not without its virtues, so I won't hate on it.

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Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:36 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Ken wrote:
Romero's Dawn of the Dead is a marvelous movie and a textbook on how to do horror as allegory. I think his later work got a little too heavy-handed with it, but he found the right balance with Dawn.

Snyder's Dawn is not without its virtues, so I won't hate on it.


Agreed. The remake is definitely not an abomination, but the original is a masterwork

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Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:26 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Rush: After a kinda rough start, the film really takes off. I was expecting to like this, but not as much as I did.

Romper Stomper: Premiere said it was one of the 25 most dangerous movies. JB said it was impossible to watch and not be affected. I was preparing myself for something along the lines of "City of God," and I got...this. Frankly, while it was energetically filmed, the characters were so undeveloped that I couldn't name more than four of them. And I really didn't care about any of them, except Davey. I read that he threw himself in front of a train after filming so I kinda looked out for him. But yeah. Kinda bland.

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Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:47 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
JamesKunz wrote:
Wow....I can't believe you're being serious


Yeah I'm surprised too. The not too strong reception, combined the last two works of him that I saw (they worked on other levels, but not really feeling like horrors like they intended to), didn't make me expect much. The arresting (and slightly Spielberg-ian) opening alone let me know that I will at least like the film, and it maintained that strong atmosphere throughout. The story has a charming brick-by-brick construction to it. And I like all the characters too (especially the woman on the radio).

I need to see Dawn of the Dead again. I personally like it the least of Romero's original trilogy. The allegory and satire are great, but to me the story proceeds at a very weird rhythm so I didn't get involved much.


Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:06 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
As we're talking about various horror, here's The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror Couch Gag this year by Guillermo del Toro. Beautiful animation with seemingly countless horror references, both famous and obscure.


Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:14 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
moviemkr7 wrote:
Romper Stomper: Premiere said it was one of the 25 most dangerous movies. JB said it was impossible to watch and not be affected. I was preparing myself for something along the lines of "City of God," and I got...this. Frankly, while it was energetically filmed, the characters were so undeveloped that I couldn't name more than four of them. And I really didn't care about any of them, except Davey. I read that he threw himself in front of a train after filming so I kinda looked out for him. But yeah. Kinda bland.


I blind-bought this film a looooooong time ago, and pretty much thought the same. I was very underwhelmed by it, mostly because it started as a sorta interesting look on neo-Nazis only to turn into a generic romantic thriller. Meh. But yeah, the guy that played Davey (Daniel Pollock) did kill himself just before the film was released. Russell Crowe wrote a song on his honor called "The Night that Davey Hit the Train".

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Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:59 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
As we're talking about various horror, here's The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror Couch Gag this year by Guillermo del Toro. Beautiful animation with seemingly countless horror references, both famous and obscure.


That was better than most of what the show has put out in the last years.

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Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:02 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Thief12 wrote:
peng wrote:
As we're talking about various horror, here's The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror Couch Gag this year by Guillermo del Toro. Beautiful animation with seemingly countless horror references, both famous and obscure.


That was better than most of what the show has put out in the last years.

I still think the show is pretty good, but thats by far the best opening they've ever done.


Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:25 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I caught the last half of GoodFellas, which I hadn't seen for many years, and more or less confirmed my opinions.

(1) No, it's not the best film of the 1990s. Actually, I think I like Dances with Wolves a bit better, despite its excessive length and there are a lot of 90s films I like better.

(2) It's still very good. I'd forgotten the scene where Jimmy is urging Karen down the street and she's more and more convinced that she's about to be whacked. Very tense scene, and one of the better in the movie.

(3) That said, the film has a problem that Henry and Karen are far from the most compelling characters in the film.

(4) Scorsese had a problem for many years, that he could do compelling scenes without making a compelling movie. Raging Bull is a good example, and to a lesser extent, so is GoodFellas. I'm convinced that a lot of people like Raging Bull for its brilliant boxing scenes without noticing that its lead character isn't really that interesting.

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Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:12 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
As with any of Scorsese's great movies, Raging Bull doesn't come fully unlocked unless you can see the character's traits in yourself.

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Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:29 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Much Ado About Nothing (2013)

Shakespeare, Joss Whedon, and screwball comedy? The mix doesn't always work: actors having missteps here and there, or the modern setting clashing with the original words. But overall, it's hard to imagine another cast having this much fun or a movie more joyful this year, and those feelings and energy carry over to the audience throughout the film. Much like Claire Danes in the Romeo+Juliet update, it's the female lead that impresses the most, with Amy Acker never missing a beat. Alexis Denisof is very good and has great chemistry with Acker, but he overplays his scenes from time to time. Two other standouts for me include Clark Gregg and Nathan Fillion. 8/10

Gravity (2013)

It pushed the emotional beats a little too hard sometimes, but other than that, an incredible experience I want to take again soon. The theme is unsubtle, but when paired with a very intimate survival story and Sandra Bullock's great performance, it is address powerfully throughout, right down to the soulful final scene. 9.5/10


Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:23 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Battle Royale

The movie is impossible to take seriously, though it desperately wants us to. Years ago, I thought it was entertaining. Now, not so much, because none of it is believable on any level. The behavior of the kids is never believable, whether they're stone-cold killers, suicidal, or just plain naïve. None of those things felt convincing. It felt like the subject matter was so controversial that the filmmakers were afraid to put too much effort into perfecting it. It's a disturbing movie, perhaps more unintentionally than intentionally. The thing that disturbed me most is the directing style. Existing in a non-committal, indescribable TV-Movie-Limbo, I was reminded painfully of Joss Whedon once again. Which is to say that BR has no real direction. Things happen, and the camera points at them happening, and that's the full extent of Fukasaku's work. The whole movie is a textbook example of poor direction, from the overlong opening scenes to the pace-killing classical music interludes. I do think there's greater potential in this material, and wouldn't mind seeing an American remake. The real battle royale for me in this version was the endurance test as the viewer.


Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:39 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
MGamesCook wrote:
Battle Royale

The movie is impossible to take seriously, though it desperately wants us to. Years ago, I thought it was entertaining. Now, not so much, because none of it is believable on any level. The behavior of the kids is never believable, whether they're stone-cold killers, suicidal, or just plain naïve. None of those things felt convincing. It felt like the subject matter was so controversial that the filmmakers were afraid to put too much effort into perfecting it. It's a disturbing movie, perhaps more unintentionally than intentionally. The thing that disturbed me most is the directing style. Existing in a non-committal, indescribable TV-Movie-Limbo, I was reminded painfully of Joss Whedon once again. Which is to say that BR has no real direction. Things happen, and the camera points at them happening, and that's the full extent of Fukasaku's work. The whole movie is a textbook example of poor direction, from the overlong opening scenes to the pace-killing classical music interludes. I do think there's greater potential in this material, and wouldn't mind seeing an American remake. The real battle royale for me in this version was the endurance test as the viewer.

I would recommend you check out Battle Royale 2, that one might be more your style.


Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:03 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I'm never too keen on Battle Royale like most, mostly because I read the book first and really love it. The movie is ok and fairly faithful, but it seemed really empty next to the book.


Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:08 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
peng wrote:
I'm never too keen on Battle Royale like most, mostly because I read the book first and really love it. The movie is ok and fairly faithful, but it seemed really empty next to the book.

I had no idea it was based on a book.


Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:39 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Victim (1961) - The third film in Criterion’s Eclipse collection Basil Dearden’s London Underground. Out of all the films in the collection, this is the one that might hold the most significance, at least from a historical standpoint. Released in 1961, the film directly tackles the personal anxieties of closeted homosexuals during a time when the very admission of homosexuality in England could bring about not just serious personal repercussions, but legal ones as well. At the center of the drama is barrister Melville Farr, who becomes wrapped up in a blackmail scheme that threatens both his future and the futures of many other gay men across the city. Farr is played by Dirk Bogarde, in what was a very personal role. As a gay man in real life, he faced the same kind of social and professional alienation as his character in the film, and like Farr, he was willing to take an open stance at the cost of his reputation and livelihood. Victim was one of the most high-profile releases at the time to openly status the status quo in this regard. It garnered a good deal of controversy at the time, but only six years later the status quo changed for the better with the passing of the Sexual Offences Act in 1967, which decriminalized homosexuality in England.

If Victim had a narrative that matched its sociopolitical ambitions, then the results could have been extraordinary. As it stands, the film shares both the strengths and the weaknesses of Dearden’s earlier film Sapphire, which also used the outlines of the mystery/procedural genre for the purpose of social commentary, in that case race relations in late 1950s London. In both films, the central mystery is never as involving as the questions that are raised around the margins. When the reveal of who is behind everything finally comes around, it really doesn’t register as all that important; the culprit could have been anybody and the impact would have been the same. Victim is at its most compelling when examining the relationship between Farr and his wife, played by Sylvia Syms, and how his admissions change the nature of their marriage. This aspect is only given a handful of scenes though, and you get the feeling that Dearden might have been better served to dispense with the genre elements entirely and place his focus squarely on the human drama. It’s something of a disappointment that the film itself is never as consistent or involving as the details behind its making, but as a document of an important period in human rights history, the film remains valuable. 7/10.

All Night Long (1962) - The fourth and last film in Criterion’s Eclipse collection Basil Dearden’s London Underground is a modern reimagining of William Shakespeare’s Othello, played out over one night in an early 1960s New York jazz club. To celebrate the one-year anniversary of musician Aurelius Rex (Paul Harris) and singer Delia Lane (Marti Stevens), wealthy music promoter Rod Hamilton (Richard Attenborough) sets up an elaborate party at his club. The evening promises to be a happy one, but the scheming band drummer Johnny Cousins (a delightful, weasely Patrick McGoohan) has plans to break the couple apart for his own personal gain. In the previous three films in the collection, Basil Dearden used more traditional genre elements to tackle some of the more weighty social issues of the time. With this film, however, the approach is somewhat different; the closest it comes to any kind of sociopolitical statement is in its completely casual and loving depiction of two interracial relationships. Especially after the strong focus in Dearden’s Sapphire on racial tensions in London, it’s remarkable how little is made of that topic in All Night Long.

Because the film’s subject matter is a little looser, the opportunity is there for Dearden to have some fun with his direction. The jazz club setting, from which the action never leaves, is loud and full of energy, and Dearden nicely balances the darker aspects of Johnny Cousins’ manipulations with several spirited musical performances from the likes of Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus, and Tubby Hayes, among many other jazz greats of the time. And occasionally, these two elements will converge together to great effect, most memorably in a tension-filled drum solo from McGoohan’s Johnny Cousins and when Stevens’ Delia Lane is finally coaxed into singing to the party guests. It’s all quite good fun, and while All Night Long might not be the most emblematic of Basil Dearden’s social conscience, it might be the film that best showcases his skills as a director. Even though this is the lightest of the four films in the Eclipse collection, it’s the one I ended up enjoying the most. 8/10.

Pleasures Of The Flesh - This is the first film in Criterion’s Eclipse collection Oshima’s Outlaw Sixties, a set of five films from Japanese filmmaker Nagisa Oshima, referred to on the back of the Criterion package as the “Godard of the East.” The two filmmakers are similar in that they both led the charge of 1960s New Wave filmmaking in their respective countries and their approaches combined experiments in genre fiction with strong political overtones. However, they each bring enough of their own sensibilities to their output that a simple comparison between them doesn’t hold much water. For one, the omnipresent archness you pervades so much of Godard is nowhere to be seen with Oshima (at least in the films of his I’ve seen), and that includes this seedy tale of a heartsick tutor resorting to desperate actions in his search for meaningful female companionship. Katsuo Nakamura plays Atsushi, desperately in love with one of his pupils, so much so that he commits murder for her. Yet his feelings are left unreciprocated, and the woman goes on to marry another. Shortly after this happens, a mysterious businessman shows up to confront Atsushi on his actions. Instead of turning Atsushi in, however, he offers him a deal: safeguard 30,000 yen that the businessman embezzled from his company until he gets out of prison, and in turn he will ignore Atsushi’s crimes. Atsushi is forced to agree, but once the businessman is caught and sent away, he decides to spend all of the money in one year, and at the end of that year he will end his life.

Over the course of that year, still devastated by the dismissal from his supposed true love, Atsushi offers money to a series of women, who accept his offerings but who are unwilling to grant the love that he so desperately seeks. In this way, Oshima subverts the usual romanticism of the gangster cruising down the path to oblivion with his woman in tow. Atsushi makes for a surprisingly pathetic protagonist, one who operates throughout the film on the assumption he can buy love through money and reckless acts of supposed affection. The nature of this main character allows Oshima to turn the film into something of a strange feminist statement, an examination of man’s misguided mentality to view women as objects of pleasure and steadfast devotion. That’s not the kind of subtext you’d usually find in a noir-influenced crime story, but it demonstrates Oshima’s willingness to challenge conventions and offer new takes on established genres. Not bad for a filmmaker making his first independent production after breaking away from the studio system. 8/10.

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Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:01 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
I had fun today watching a collection of Goofy cartoons. This one had "Goofy's Glider," which was the first of Goofy's "How To" movies, showing, of course, how not to fly a glider. That, "Father Lion" and "Clock Cleaners" were about the best, but I liked "Aquamania" (Goofy goes waterskiing) quite a bit despite it not being quite up to the rest in animation style.

In "Father Lion," Goofy takes his son camping. Now Goofy has been telling his son tall tales about his exploits (the joke being that these exploits are embellishments on earlier Goofy cartoons), and the worshipful son wants to see his father take on a lion. And indeed, they encounter a mountain lion, which the son is quite aware of, and Goofy is oblivious to for most of the cartoon, leading to lots of funny gags. I smiled a lot at this cartoon. I should mention that the son in this cartoon isn't Max, the one in "A Goofy Movie" and "An Extremely Goofy Movie." This one is a puppy, but not a lookalike to his father. He also appears in "Father's Weekend" and "Aquamania."

"Goofy and Wilbur" was Goofy's first solo cartoon. Wilbur is a trained grasshopper and Goofy's fishing pal. Their gimmick is that Wilbur hops on the surface of the water, attracts fish, who follow Wilbur to Goofy's boat where Goofy nets them. Naturally, there are complications, such as two fish going after Wilbur at once. Cute and funny film.

"Clock Cleaners" features Mickey, Donald and Goofy as, er, clock cleaners, in this case cleaning a clock on the scale of Big Ben. This film is one of the best animated of the Disney shorts, and winds up on a lot of Best Cartoon lists. Given the subject, it's not surprising that it owes a big debt to Harold Lloyd. It may be surprising that the Lloyd film it owes a big debt to isn't "Safety Last" but "Never Weaken," the one where Lloyd is walking around the girders of an uncompleted skyscraper.

The collection is "Walt Disney's Funny Factory with Goofy." Some day I'm going to break down and shell out for the master collection of Goofy films with "How to Dance," "How to be a Detective," "How to Golf," etc. They're among the best cartoons Disney had to offer. I love "How to Play Baseball," although it may lack a little if you're not a baseball fan.

Okay, time-out over. You can go back to inferior live-action films.

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Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:28 pm
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
The Old Dark House (1932)

James Whale's horror/comedy is often very funny with good atmosphere, although the horror aspect is lacking a bit. Still, his direction is great as usual, with the grotesque reflections in mirror being standout in term of creepiness. Also, it's fun to see these big stars chewing scenes together with such relish. 7.5/10

And it's on youtubein case anyone's interested. Very nice watch for a chilly October night.


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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
World War Z is a first person shooter where we follow the main character Gerry through a series of levels and exposition on his mission to save the world from a zombie infection.

We start out with a driving level -save all the members of your family. Extra points for hitting zombies; penalty points for hitting regular people. Look for vehicle upgrades and be sure to sure for tools or weapons that might be useful in fighting zombies. Next we have a city street run followed by a grocery store grab-a-thon, avoid those zombies and protect your family. A brief pop-up in the corner of your screen informs you that you have to make your way to the top of that building over there. Again, protect the family and even gain a member as we make our way to the chopper and more exposition/mission assignment on a ship at sea. (Now your family is safe and you will head to the solo missions.) Then it's off to destinations far and wide with a variety of shoot-em-up levels before our big mission showdown at a giant laboratory, crawling with (you guessed it!) zombies. They're clever and fast so watch out and good luck on your mission!!

Oh, you mean it's a movie and I don't get to play it?! In that case it sucks.
1/4 for cool action sequences.

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Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:32 am
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Post Re: Last Movie You Watched
Kill List In a way, this was a weird film. Not Holy Motors weird, but still. It started as more of a straight drama only to shift into crime/thriller territory halfway through. It follows a couple of friends that have to do a certain job, while some unspecified threat surrounds them. Well acted and overall well done. The ending was a bit bizarre and the twist, although a bit predictable for me, was still disturbing. Grade: B+

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